Who will prevail ? - Posted by Wilton

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on July 16, 2003 at 18:46:00:


That is a legal question, answerable by an attorney. And, because each situation requires analysis of the specific details, no answer can be give with such sketchy information.

For instance, does Sam know about Bills deed? I believe–and I am not an attorney–that if Sam knows about Bill’s deed, that Bill will be the owner.

Good InvestingRon Starr*****

Who will prevail ? - Posted by Wilton

Posted by Wilton on July 16, 2003 at 18:36:17:

Bill sells a property to joe for cash. The deed from Bill is signed, notarized and delivered to Joe. Joe however does not record the deed.
Sometime later, Bill sells the house to Sam. Sam does it right…He also pays cash, but does get title insurance and records the deed.
Joe steps forward and claims the property, with his earlier deed.
Obviously Bill has broken the law by selling a property that he does not own, but who will be the legal owner of the property after the dust settles.?
Thanks, Wilton

unrecorded leins or claims - Posted by Tray Giddens, Houston

Posted by Tray Giddens, Houston on July 18, 2003 at 13:12:01:

every policy of title insurance that i’ve seen EXCLUDES unrecorded leins or claims to the property. so the title insurance part of the question is not important…

TRay giddens

Re: Who will prevail ? - Posted by James Mc (IL)

Posted by James Mc (IL) on July 17, 2003 at 11:45:13:

Talk to Lawyer, of course.

Sam owns the house.

Joe sues Bill.

Bill hides.

Law finds Bill. Joe is upset because Bill hides assets.

Bill goes to jail.

Just kidding. But I do think that that the owner is Sam because he did record it with title insurance. And even if courts say Joe should have the house, then I would think that the title insurance people will hold up their end and sue Bill.

Glad it’s not me.

James Mc

Re: Who will prevail ? - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on July 16, 2003 at 23:31:14:

I think I know these guys. Do Bill, Joe and Sam live in Bakersfield by any chance?

Sam’s got title insurance, right? So, any claims for title against Sam by Joe will have to be dealt with by the title company legal department. In CA, I doubt that Joe has a leg to stand on regarding title. But of course he is free to sue Bill.

And…why do you ask? Sincerely, Kristine

Who Prevails… - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on July 16, 2003 at 22:05:34:


In most states, if Sam had no prior knowledge of the transaction between Bill and Joe, then Sam will prevail as the owner of record. Joe would be at a loss to claim a valid interest here.

Of course Bill has committed fraud, and Joe would have a civil claim against Bill. There may also be some criminal charges possible, for theft by deception. If Bill is not financially culpable, then Joe has lost out, as he would have NO right to make a claim against the property… IMHO.

Of course this is just a laymans opinion.


Re: Who will prevail ? - Posted by dandrews

Posted by dandrews on July 16, 2003 at 21:13:33:

from Black’s Law dictionary:

Race-notice recording statutes. State laws which provide that an unrecorded conveyance is invalid as against a subsequent purchaser for value who records without knowledge of the prior unrecorded instrument.

Race recording statutes. The party who records, has better claim regardless of notice of unrecorded instruments.

In other words, depends on your state. But under either statute, an unrecorded deed is not a good thing.

Bill may not have broken the law. What if his wife, now deceased, owned it, sold it, nobody recorded it. Then she dies, he gets it in the will which was not updated, then he sells it?

Yes, this is the voice of experience. Fortunately, it was a small parcel out of the whole piece without much value but I still lost.


Re: Who will prevail ? - Posted by JD

Posted by JD on July 16, 2003 at 20:56:15:

If this is a vacant lot and Sam has no knowledge of Joe’s ownership interest, and there is nothing on the lot to indicate that Joe owns the lot, then Sam would be the owner. If this is a single family home (and Joe lives there) it would, IMHO, be Sam’s responsiblity to make some resonable effort to determine who the occupant was and what their occupancy status was before buying the property. You would need to provide such additional details for me to give an opinion on the latter situation. The answer to the latter situation may differ by State.